Turkey Festivals

Event: Eid ul-Fitr


Date: The first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal.


Activities: In the Republic of Turkey, all national and religious celebrations are referred to as Bayram (meanings related to holiday or festival). Eid-ul-Fitr is known as, Ramazan Bayramı (ramadan festival) or Şeker Bayramı (sugar festival). It is a national religious holiday in Turkey, where schools and government offices are closed, and lasts for three days and a half. It is customary for people to greet one another with "Bayramınız Kutlu Olsun" ("May Your Bayram Be Celebrated"), "Mutlu Bayramlar" ("Happy Bayram"), or the more quaint "Bayramınız Mübarek Olsun" (May Your Bayram Be Holy", i.e. "Holy Bayram Upon You"), while enjoying a number of local customs.

Event: Istanbul International Music Festival


Date: held every June and July in Istanbul, Turkey


Activities: The Istanbul International Music Festival, formerly Istanbul Festival, is a cultural event held every June and July in Istanbul, Turkey. It offers a selection of European classical music, ballet, opera and traditional music performances with the participations of famous artists from all over the world. The festival was first held in 1973 and is organized by the Istanbul Foundation of Culture and Arts. Its main sponsor is the Eczacıbaşı Holding.From its beginning, the festival hosted world renowned artists and groups from La Scala Philharmonic (Riccardo Muti), New York Philharmonic (Kurt Masur and Zubin Mehta), Berlin Philharmonic to Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Wolfgang Sawallisch), Dresden Staatskapelle and the soloists, orchestra and chorus of the Mariinsky Theatre (Kirov Opera), from Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (Gidon Kremer) to Scottish Chamber Orchestra (Charles Mackerras and Richard Hickox), from Tokyo String Quartet to Hilliard Ensemble, from Aldo Ciccolini to Ivo Pogorelich, from Yehudi Menuhin to Itzhak Perlman, from Julian Lloyd Webber to Mischa Maisky, from Narciso Yepes to Christopher Parkening, from Leyla Gencer to Montserrat Caballé and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, from Bolshoi Ballet to American Ballet Theatre and to Mark Morris, Mehmet Sander, Kibbutz dance companies; and such traditional music groups as Istanbul Oriental Ensemble of Burhan Öçal, Kudsi Erguner’s Tac Mahal project and Whirling Dervishes. The 31st Festival saw the prominent conductor Lorin Maazel with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and a legend of the music world, Cecilia Bartoli, who received an enthusiastic standing ovation from the audience for minutes.

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